Extending its 500 series of video cards, Nvidia has announced the release of the GeForce GTX 550 Ti, a new mainstream card aimed at bringing the company's graphics technology to consumers and gamers looking to spend less than $150.
The GTX 550 Ti is the current-generation equivalent of Nvidia's GTS 450, which was released last fall, but will not directly replace it in the marketplace. (Nvidia claims the GTS 450 will be for sale until at least later this year.) It does, however, represent the end of the GTS naming scheme: Nvidia is transitioning out of it to reduce confusion stemming from having few products in that family compared to the GTX line.
Utilizing the GF116 GPU, which is based on Nvidia's Fermi architecture, the GTX 550 Ti features 192 CUDA processing cores, a 900-MHz graphics clock, and a 192-bit memory path. It packs a full 1GB of frame buffer memory, using mixed-density GDDR5 RAM (one 512MB unit and two 256MB units). Nvidia claims that all these changes, taken together, result in 28 percent faster performance than is possible with the GTS 450, and thus 20 percent more performance per watt.
[RELATED_ARTICLE]Nvidia recommends a minimum power supply of 400 watts, and requires the use of one six-pin connector from the power supply; the card's TDP is 116 watts.
Because the Nvidia GTX 550 Ti has been designed with ample overclocking headroom in mind, expect to see partner models of the card available clocked at 1 GHz or above. The card is available now either as part of prebuilt systems or as a standalone unit, in which case it's priced at $149. For more information about the card, visit Nvidia's Web site.
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